Monday, February 11, 2013

A Few Thoughts on "Race Gun" Equipment

One of the best things about being a competitive shooter is I get to embrace my inner 12 year-old and let him run wild...

You know the kid, were talking about the one with a Ferrari poster on the wall, a shelf full of Jane's Guides to modern fighter planes, and a head filled with the tech specs of every new gun American Rifleman had published over the past 12 months.

Only now, he's got a budget and a skill-set worth indulging with the "good stuff." Moving past modified M&Ps and squarely into Race Gun country last year, I've walked into a world where equipment matters, and the gear ain't cheap.

To most folks outside the USPSA / IDPA realm, a $2000 hand-built semi-custom pistol would be the prize of any collection and likely spend its days riding the top shelf in the safe. For us, however, that's the low end of the spectrum for a gun most would look at as a great "starting point."

Now, there are plenty of folks running modified production guns in the Limited division but I had no intention of driving Herbie to the starting line of the Daytona 500. If I'm going to play with the big kids, even if I'm not going to place anywhere near the top, I want to get beat on skill, not gear.

...and I want to let that 12 year old boy loose every once in a while.

But one thing all custom gun drivers will learn is just because you CAN change something or bolt on the latest go-fast parts, it don't mean you SHOULD.

Case in point - advice I received from an up-and-coming "A" level Limited shooter was to add an extended mag release to my new STI.

Now, I'll be the first to tell you that the grip of a standard STI prevents me from getting to the mag release in a hurry and, to remedy that, I ordered mine with a low-profile extended release that sorta works but tears up my support hand.

At SHOT this year I was given a very snazzy machined stainless extended release button that added 30% extra sexy and seemed like it would be my answer to all things mag release.

...and I'm here to report that all that glitters definitely ain't gold. As much as I wanted to LOVE that mag release, I found it to be so big that my support hand was mashing down on it under recoil, causing me to spontaneously drop my mag 3 times in a 150-round training session.

Not bueno.

The hard-learned lesson here is that, despite owning a "race gun" the best solutions may be the most subtle... I'm going to need to actually have the gun custom fit to my hand a bit better. Not only that, but the flashy go-fast bits might work for some but they ain't always the answer.

Tonight, after work, I have a feeling that part is going on a classifieds board somewhere or into my bin o' parts that live on the shelf.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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